MoMA Film. This exhibition of recent work by the New York-based filmmaker Jem Cohen features a one-time theatrical presentation on April 4, copresented with Eyebeam Atelier, of Chain Times Three (2002), a three-projector panoramic triptych that creates a 'superlandscape' from malls, highways, franchises, and corporate centers across the globe.
April 4 and 13
This exhibition of recent work by the New York-based filmmaker Jem Cohen features a one-time theatrical presentation on April 4, copresented with Eyebeam Atelier, of Chain Times Three (2002), a three-projector panoramic triptych that creates a 'superlandscape' from malls, highways, franchises, and corporate centers across the globe. Shot over six years, the project weaves together documentary and fiction, and includes original music by Godspeed You Black Emperor!, the Montreal band performing with Cohen's live film projections at the Bowery Ballroom on April 1 and 2, and at Warsaw in Brooklyn on April 3 and 4.
Accompanying this special event are screenings on April 13 of Cohen's two other recent feature films: Benjamin Smoke (2000), and Instrument (1999). Cohen has worked extensively with musicians, including R.E.M., Elliott Smith, Jonathan Richman, and Vic Chesnutt, and is the recipient of Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships and many international film festival prizes. He will introduce all three screenings, followed by a Q&A session.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media. Special thanks to Cowboy Pictures, Eyebeam Atelier, ACMI, and Gravity Hill for their loan of prints and equipment.
Little Flags. 2000. USA. Directed by Jem Cohen. Celebrants of a war victory parade in lower Manhattan are seen through Cohen's discriminating lens. With a haunting soundtrack by Fugazi. 7 min.
Chain Times Three. 2002. USA. Directed by Jem Cohen. A one-time, three-projector screening of Cohen's latest work, described above. Introduced by the filmmaker. 41 min.
Friday, April 4, 6:00
Benjamin Smoke. 2000. USA. Directed by Jem Cohen, Peter Sillen. With a special appearance by Patti Smith and still photographs by Michael Ackerman. Cohen was first introduced to the Atlanta-based speed freak, drag queen, and underground-music legend Benjamin by R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe in 1989, and was so captivated by this 'scrawny little powerhouse in a sundress' that he and codirector Sillen would spend the next ten years capturing his life and music on whatever 16mm, 8mm, and video material they could scrounge up. The result is a tender, raunchy, and ultimately beautiful portrait of a true original. Introduced by the filmmaker. 75 min.
Sunday, April 13, 4:00
Instrument. 1999. USA. Directed by Jem Cohen. Cohen's portrait of the politically charged band Fugazi has become a true cult film, playing with equal success at the 2002 Whitney Biennial and in Antarctica. Cohen avoids the clichÃ©s of the conventional music documentary, mixing multiple film and video formats, weaving together ten years' worth of concert footage, studio sessions, and interviews with the musicians and their fans, and capturing the hard-edged, hallucinatory quality of Fugazi's sound in his imagery. Introduced by the filmmaker. 115 min.
Sunday, April 13, 6:00
MoMA Film at The Gramercy Theatre
127 East 23 Street (at Lexington Avenue)
New York, New York
Box office: (212) 777-4900